Programs are subject to change without notice. For information, call the Shepherd School Concert Office at 713-348-8000.
Unless otherwise noted, admission to all events is free and tickets are not required.
Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Stude Concert Hall, Alice Pratt Brown Hall
Shepherd School Students Host Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert
Students of The Shepherd School of Music are hosting the Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert to help raise funds for the people of a broken nation. The program will include works such as the Finale from Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata (played by Jon Kimura Parker), Barber's Adagio for Strings, Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and additional works all performed by Shepherd School students and faculty. A free-will donation will be taken and funds will be given to two organizations, World Vision and Beyond Borders. Tickets are not required for this event.
Students in the Shepherd School of Music are hosting the "Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert" at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 in Rice University's Stude Concert Hall to raise funds for organizations supporting the people of Haiti and the victims of the January earthquake.
Voluntary cash donations will be taken at the concert, which will feature large and small chamber music ensembles performing favorite works by Beethoven, Barber and Prokofiev. The money raised will be donated to the nonprofit organizations World Vision and Beyond Borders for their Haitian outreach efforts. The student-organized concert builds on the more than $13,000 already raised at Rice through student-led initiatives and donated in January.
"We had an immediate desire to help the people of Haiti upon hearing about the earthquake," said Danielle Rossbach, a Hanszen College freshman. "As students, however, we couldn't give financially to the extent that we would have wanted, and as musicians we don't possess skills that would be helpful in physically aiding sick, hurt and dying people. But we do have gifts that can be used to bless others. Through our concert, we can mourn with the nation of Haiti and move others to become involved in relief efforts. Perhaps most important, we can convey hope for the people and rejoice with them for a brighter future."
Rossbach and Lexi Bryant, a graduate student in music, spearheaded the concert. They chose World Vision because of the organization's Christian philosophies and doctrines. Through World Vision, the donations support the distribution of food, medicine and family survival kits that include clean water, blankets, cooking supplies and tents to children and families devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. Donations to Beyond Borders will aid in the organization's campaign to end child servitude and ensure the safety and well-being of children orphaned by the earthquake.
"World Vision is a respectable Christian establishment that is recognizable and reputable to most of the general public," Bryant said. "Beyond Borders has been focusing exclusively on the needs of the Haitians since the late 1980s. With a group so familiar with and members stationed in the country, they are the first to know the most pressing and immediate needs of the people that must be met."
Planning the production
Rossbach and Bryant credit their experience at Rice with giving them the opportunity to pursue such an ambitious project on such a short timeline.
"I want to be involved and known as a person who can set her mind on something and then accomplish it," Rossbach said. "I've learned that the Rice community respects students in the Shepherd School, and I can use that respect as a foundation for my leadership. At Rice there is no upper limit to dreams of accomplishment. This has rubbed off on me and given me the desire to lead 'Hope for Haiti.'"
Bryant said the behind-the-scenes work has given her a new appreciation for performances.
"It's like a wedding – when you're a little girl, all you think you need to do is get engaged, pick a dress and then the day will come," she said.
As she has discovered in planning her own upcoming nuptials, "there's so much more. There are so many small details that you assume will take of themselves. But they won't. You have to tackle every little detail, sometimes at 2 a.m."
Though Bryant and Rossbach have compromised their sleep schedules to ensure the concert goes off without a hitch, the support of students and faculty in the Shepherd School helped them both breathe more easily. Most of the ensembles, such as the two string quartets, are preformed student groups that have been performing together for a while.
"I received multiple e-mails from students wanting to help, even if it was just to accompany a performer on piano," Rossbach said. "Faculty members were also helpful with just about everything from suggestions for repertoire to willingness to perform in the concert."
The program includes:
Prokofiev's Quartet No. 1, mvt III, performed by the Civetta Quartet.
Beethoven's Quartet Op. 59, No. 1.
The finale from Beethoven's "Appassionata Sonata," performed by Jon Kimura Parker, professor of piano.
Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," performed by Rossbach and Parker.
Barber's "Adagio," performed by Shepherd School students in chamber ensemble conducted by Cristian Macelaru, staff conductor.
"The Shepherd School is a wonderful and unique environment," Bryant said. "Unlike a lot of conservatories, it’s directly connected and strongly associated with the students, faculty and staff of other departments. As a whole, we’re a school that finds joy and satisfaction in knowing that we’ve made a difference in someone's life. At the Shepherd School, our strongest talent is music, and the way we can best express ourselves is through music, whether that be performing or writing. It just seems fitting that the way we can give back to the community and outside is through our greatest gift – the language without words."